275 Madison E 40th St.

Contact: 212-986-3888

275 Madison E 40th St.

Contact: 212-986-3888

A friend of mine was working at her desk recently as a photo editor at a major news agency. Without warning, a sharp, piercing pain shot through her wrist and up her arm. She described it as “an electric shock.” She thought at first it might be just a passing cramp, though she remembered she had been trying to ignore a tingling feeling in her hand and wrist for the last few months and recognized that it might be related.

A trip to the doctor indicated the possibility that the pain was caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful progressive condition caused by compression of a key nerve in the wrist. “ Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist,” says Dr. Kessler. “The median nerve controls sensations to the palm side of the thumb and fingers, as well as impulses to some small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move.” The carpal tunnel — a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand — houses the median nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the median nerve to be compressed. “The result may be pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm.”

Any condition that exerts pressure on the median nerve at the wrist can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Tendon inflammation resulting from repetitive work, such as uninterrupted typing, can also cause carpal tunnel symptoms.

Some tips on relieving wrist pain: Prop up your arm with pillows when you lie down; avoid using your hand too much; find a new way to use your hand by using a different tool; try to use the other hand more often; avoid bending your wrists down for long periods.

Labels: carpal tunnel syndrome

Posted by Spine and Sports Medicine on 3:58 PM

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